I'm about to start this Saturday at the Tower Grove Farmer's Market and it's nerve-racking... I have most of my things ready, but terrified I'm going to forget something. It's the first time all my macarons will be on display and available for purchase. It's different taking orders from home, where you can bake in your own time and put together the box, handing over the final product to the customer. In this case, I'll be reaching into a box of my macarons in 90+ degree heat and putting it together for them.
I also have to set up my tent and table display each week which are rather heavy and unwieldy... But isn't that what boyfriends are for?
In the haze that is the week before the market opening, I've been swamped with macarons, running to fix the printer, to get my logo stickers, and all sorts of other boring things that seem oh-so-important at the moment. I'm exhausted at the end of each night and dreaming of what has to be done tomorrow. But I'm happy--no, thrilled about doing this market, and even having to get up at 6am every Saturday morning doesn't faze me one bit. It's getting to do what I love as a career, what could be better?
A few days ago, before I went elbows deep in macarons, I tried out another French cookie called the Breton biscuit. They hail from Brittany, France. I actually hadn't seen these before, until I noticed a gorgeous photo of them in a Martha Stewart Cookbook. I was drawn to the simple criss-cross pattern on top. I could imagine myself as a young French schoolgirl, peeking into a pastry shop after school and seeing this familiar cookie in the window. Elegant and classic, they're buttery shortbread cookies with a sandy "sable" texture. They're a bit reminiscent of the Danish butter cookies in a silver tin that we'd sometimes receive as a gift.
Normally, I prefer chewy cookies. But I'd make an exception for these.
I especially enjoyed them with a bite of Godiva salted caramel chocolate on top, or with a cuppa tea.
Honey Cinnamon Breton Biscuits
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes about 24-30, depending on size
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 whole egg + 4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 TBS honey
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
Beat the egg yolks and sugar on high with an electric beater until pale yellow.
Add the butter in four parts, beating until combined.
Add in the honey.
Add the flour mixture on low.
Stir in the cinnamon.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface.
Divide in half, flatten into disks, and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll out one disk of dough and cut out shapes and set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk one egg together and use a brush to dip into the egg and brush the tops of each cookie.
Wait five minutes and brush them all again.
Use a small knife to cut diagonal patterns into the cookie; just don't cut all the way through the dough.
Sprinkle with more cinnamon (optional).
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or till the cookies are amber colored on top and golden around the edges.
Let cool. Eat and store them at room temperature (keep in an airtight container).
*MS recommends refrigerating after cutting out the cookies, but I skipped that part.